When I was a small boy, I can remember my father, who served in the Fleet Air Arm during WWII, suffering great distress when he recalled incidents from his wartime experience. Many of us, I'm sure, know of other individuals whose scars may not be visible, but who suffer nonetheless. Only comparatively recently have the armed services begun to properly understand the long-term psychological effects of active duty, instituting 'decompression' either in, or close to, the theatre of operations for personnel about to end their tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the 'tempo' of operations in recent years means that in addition to those whose lives have been permanently changed by physical wounds, there is an alarmingly huge reservoir of psychological casualties building up that will need to be dealt with.
Many thousands of our service men and women from less recent conflicts have been effectively left to fend for themselves, relying overwhelmingly on the voluntary help offered by charities like Combat Stress. Please help them to help the men and women who have served on our behalf in dangerous places and situations, often in extremely difficult and harrowing peacekeeping operations such as Bosnia, whatever their rank, job or arm of the services.
Donating through Justgiving is quick, easy and totally secure. It’s also the most efficient way to sponsor me: COMBAT STRESS gets your money faster and, if you’re a UK taxpayer, Justgiving makes sure 25% in Gift Aid, plus a 3% supplement, are added to your donation.
Donations of any amount are welcome, whether just a Pound or two, or more if you can afford it. Every little helps. You can also just put your initials or "Anonymous" in the name box if you prefer.
Thank you for visiting.
Updated 19th November 2014
Following the Warfare wargames show held at the Rivermead Leisure Centre in Reading over the weekend of 15th/16th November, I am delighted to report that a magnificent total of £922.56 was collected as a result of the raffle and personal donations. Some kind souls not only bought raffle tickets, but added extra funds as well. This money has now been deposited and, within hours, has now been passed on to Combat Stress via this page.
I'm enormously grateful to the Wargames Association of Reading who gave us the opportunity to publicise the Appeal, and also to the traders who so generously donated their wares and services as prizes for the raffle.
I want to extend my personal thanks to club chairman Steve Thompson who contacted me some months ago with the idea for having Combat Stress as the beneficiary of their raffle, and also to Brendan Morrissey, who very kindly manned the stand and sold tickets on the Sunday, as I had to be elsewhere.
Updated 28th March 2014
The Donald Featherstone Tribute Weekend held 21st-23rd March 2014 was a storming success, not only in terms of the enthralling Gettysburg game laid on by Wargames Holiday Centre owner Mark Freeth that provided huge enjoyment for all the participants, but also because of the generosity of all who attended.
We raised £325 for Combat Stress via the ticket price; this was increased by holding an auction of books from Donald Featherstone's personal collection (kindly supplied by his daughter Jane Winmill) at the end of the event, which added a further £380, making a total of over £700 for the weekend!
Updated 14th January 2013
The next Combat Stress Commemorative Miniature auction, raising money for the Battlegames Combat Stress Appeal, is now live and will end 24 Jan, 2013 20:11:25 GMT.
You can also view more photos on my Flickr feed at http://flic.kr/s/aHsjDBHcK9
I'm really hoping that this auction will take us beyond £11,000, which will be a significant landmark, so please bid if you can!
Updated 16th January 2012
As announced in Battlegames issue 27, and as you can see here, we have exceeded our original target of £10,000, so there was only one logical thing to do: double the target to £20,000.
It will take some time but, with your help and a following wind, I'm absolutely convinced that we can manage to achieve this new target, reaching a sum which will make a truly significant difference to the work that Combat Stress does.
I'm extremely grateful to everyone who has helped along the way and I look forward to pushing myself even further in the course of achieving the new goal.
Updated 4th October 2011
We made it!
After setting off from Battle at 8.30am, we finally reached Lewes Castle at 6.30pm having endured 10 hours of the hottest October day in nearly 30 years, with temperatures hitting 28 degrees C along the way.
We had hoped to complete the walk in 8 hours, but we simply had to stop far more frequently than expected to take on fluids and cool down in the extreme heat. I know I drank nearly 11 litres of fluid during the day, and must have poured another 3 or so over my head!
Simone was quite simply a star. After some early worries about her legs, by halfway she was feeling much better, and for the last third of the walk I was following in her slipstream and she literally pulled me up the last 100 metres of Lewes High Street, which looked little short of the North Face of the Eiger to me as my legs turned to jelly.
I have posted a few photos for you to see on Flickr at http://tinyurl.com/6baz4xm -- note the startling difference in my demeanour at the finishing post at Lewes Castle compared to the starting line at Battle Abbey!
Thank you to everyone for your donations, support and encouragement, and of course our JustGiving pages will continue to acccept donations for some time to come.
Updated on 21st September 2011 via the JustGiving site
Less than two weeks to go before my 26-mile Sussex March from Battle Abbey to Lewes Castle on 1st October.
If you'd like to see the route, here's a Google map:
There's still time to sponsor me either via this site or you can text BGCS99 £1 (or any other amount you can afford) to 70070.
Thanks for your support!
Updated on 4th July 2011 via the JustGiving site
Thanks to Vodafone, you can now make donations to the Battlegames Combat Stress Appeal via your mobile phone.
Just text BGCS99 £1 (or any other amount you can afford) to 70070
Go on, gissa quid for Combat Stress -- and spread the word!
Updated on 6th May 2011 via the JustGiving site
I have just added a marvellous £462 to the amount raised offline because of three generous donations, so my thanks go to:
• Richard Ellis, photographer, who has kindly donated his fees of £80 earned from Neil Thomas' forthcoming book, Wargaming Nineteenth Century Europe 1815-1878.
• Andrew Hubback, Editor of Miniature Wargames, who has sent £257 raised from the sale of ex-review copies of books sent to his magazine.
• And finally, a cheque for £125 which was raised during the recent imagi-nations wargaming weekend held in East Ayton, Yorkshire, last weekend.
As always, huge thanks to all these people for their support.
Updated on 28th February 2011 via the JustGiving site
My thanks to David Brown, author of the General de Brigade wargames rules, and his friends who organised the huge Leipzig game which took place over the weekend of November 5th-7th last year at Wellington Barracks in London. A collection taken amongst the participants raised a huge £400, and David presented a cheque for this amount to me at the Cavalier show in Tonbridge yesterday. A fantastic effort, well done!
Updated on 31st January 2011 via the JustGiving site
Another year, and the Battlegames Combat Stress Appeal continues!
Thanks to the generosity of readers who have purchased our Combat Stress Commemorative Miniatures, I have today been able to add a donation of £117.86 to the fund. My thanks to all those concerned. More figures will be added to the range in the coming months and I hope that they add substantially to the funds raised. I shall be adding the funds riased from their sale at the end of each month.
Updated on 11th August 2010 via the JustGiving site
Thanks to a Battlegames subscriber who has recommended our Appeal to others, I have this morning received a cheque for an amazing £500 which I have just added to our total. This remarkable donation has come from an organisation called "Charity Concerns Reciprocity", about which I must confess I know next to nothing, but to whom I am, naturally, extremely grateful.
Updated on 9th July 2010 via the JustGiving site
My thanks to the successful bidder in the second of our eBay auctions -- as it happens, the same person who won the Korean War figure! I am delighted to report that the 28mm Falklands War RN sailor in full 'flash gear' sculpted by Alan Perry and painted by Brian Phillips raised £62 plus Gift Aid. As previously, the donation was made today via the 'Missionfish' charity payment system on eBay. Gripping Beast are now working on the next set of castings, and more announcements will be made via Battlegames magazine, on our website, on Facebook and on Twitter. Thanks also to The Blew Regiment of the Sealed Knot who have kindly made a donation to our Appeal, and to rules writer Rich Jones. His latest publication is "Hearts & Minds", a set of rules for simulating the conflict in Afghanistan, and Rich has very generously decided that 10% of the proceeds will be donated to our Combat Stress Appeal.
STOP PRESS: Ganesha Games publisher Andrea Sfiligoi has offered to match Rich Jones' 10%, making 20% to Combat Stress for every copy sold! That's fantastic, chaps, thank you!
Updated on 23rd June 2010 via the JustGiving site
My thanks to the successful bidder in the first of our eBay auctions. The 28mm Korean War British Infantryman sculpted by Alan Perry and painted by El Mercenario raised £40 plus Gift Aid, and the money was sent on its way to the charity this morning via the 'Missionfish' charity payment system on eBay. Next up will be a Falklands War RN sailor, and the 10-day auction is set to go live later this week.
Updated on Jun 2nd 2010 at 10:37 PM using the JustGiving iPhone app
My thanks to fellow magazine editor Andrew Hubback of Miniature Wargames who has just made a very generous donation to the Appeal, and to the Tunbridge Wells Wargames Society who raised over £400 for the cause at the Cavalier show earlier this year. These contributions are hugely appreciated - thank you!
Updated on 11th February 2010 via the JustGiving site
My thanks to Julian Evans, erstwhile owner of Figures in Comfort, who has been raising money for the Appeal by selling miniatures that have been created by leading sculptors in the wargaming hobby. Some of them have been auctioned on eBay, others sold direct at shows or via the Figures in Comfort website.
As some of you may know, Julian himself suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following his service in Bosnia, so this is a subject close to his heart. His condition has led to his decision to quit the business here in the UK and start a new life in Australia in the new year -- but he has left us a wonderful parting gift. This morning, I received a cheque for an amazing £1,129.79, which has gone straight into our Appeal!
Furthermore, I have decided to continue Julian's excellent work and have agreed to take on and complete the project. As you can imagine, there is a fair amount of organisation to be done, a number of people to be briefed and a schedule to be drawn up, but I am pleased to report that Gripping Beast, who have been casting the miniatures, have also agreed to continue their involvement under my presidency.
More news about this exciting development will follow in the next issue of Battlegames and on the Battlegames website
Editor, Battlegames magazine
P.S. Find out more about the Combat Stress charity